In her keynote address, Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake commended the increased collaboration amongst government institutions in leveraging innovation as one of the main building-blocks for a capable state. She said this was highly commendable as it liberates the pioneering spirit in public officials to share their expertise and make a difference in people’s lives. Dr Pilane-Majake was conferring awards to public servants during the 16th CPSI Public Sector innovation Awards on Friday night at the Velmore Hotel and Spa in Erasmia, Tshwane.
The Annual Public Sector Innovation Awards programme is a platform used to unearth, nurture, reward and facilitate the replication of innovation within the public sector. The Awards Programme targets all three spheres of Government, innovation practitioners, as well as partners from the private sector and academia. They promote and encourage best practice in public sector innovation and service delivery and celebrate the successes of individuals and teams at all spheres of government in their quest to innovatively improve service delivery.
Deputy Minister Pilane-Majake said it is sometimes important for public service to celebrate their achievements that showcase the creativity and innovation that exists in the public sector. “These awards are indeed a proof that public servants have decided to embrace innovation as a key enabler and a game-changer in exploring better and more improved ways of delivering services to citizens. They are increasingly, boldly pushing boundaries to move beyond ordinariness to find new, extra-ordinary ways of delivering services,” said Deputy Minister.
Dr Pilane-Majake also said the CPSI’s mandate directly supports the National Development Plan in building an effective, efficient and development oriented public sector and an empowered and inclusive citizenship.
Finalists battled it out in four categories. Projects were awarded as follows:
- Innovative solutions reducing the cost of delivering services was won by the North West Department of Education and Sport Development’s eLTSM system. An Ordering, Delivering and Monitoring System.
- Innovative use of ICTs for effective service delivery was scooped by Western Cape’s Transport and Public Works Department for the Integrated Transport intelligence Hub. The project has developed new technology and integrated existing standard technology to provide real-time infringement information to law enforcement officers. The hub provides credible data sources and information management systems. Using licence plate recognition and databases of information relating to vehicles to send information to the back office and also directly to the closest traffic officer.
- Innovative service delivery institutions award was won by the Gauteng’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital’s Standing Box Project. Faced with highly expensive assistive devices, the hospital partnered with an NPO called Sukumani Dream (to source affordable Standing Boxes that provide adequate support for children with poor trunk control. These boxes are very stable and have tray tables attached for play and feeding activities. Initially parents paid for the Standing Boxes, however one of the Physiotherapists identified a need and sourced donations from private companies and individuals to manufacture standing boxes at a much cheaper cost.
- Innovative enhancement of internal systems of government award was won by the North West Department of Finance’s Development of accessible salary advice for visually impaired employees. The North West Provincial Government is presently employing more than forty (40) employees with visual impairment, that require braille or large print salary advice slips and the number may increase as the circumstance changes. The service also expand to Employees Income Tax Certificate (IRP 5/IT) services.The development of braille salary advices using ICT or technology ensures that visually impaired employees receive their pay slip in a format that makes it possible for them to read all the details. Making use of JAWS that either reads out pay slips to employees or enables transcription into Braille through a Printer.
Public Sector Innovator of the Year:
- Winners from the four categories went on to contest for the prestigious 2018 innovator of the year award. Gauteng’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital’s Standing Box Project emerged victorious in this category.
GEMS Health Sector Innovation Award:
- This year, the GEMS Health Sector Innovation award was conferred to Electronic Intensive Care Project, KwaZUlu-Natal Department of Health with the prize to the value of R50 000.
This year once again the CPSI made a special recognition for the Public Sector Innovation Trailblazers, these are game changers with agile minds that are driven by a passion to turn around the public sector and dispel the myth that the “wheels of government are slow to turn”. The Trailblazers were all recognised for their contributions in providing ICT-based solutions to solve service delivery challenges. Xolani Phakathi (Department of Health, Kwazulu Natal), Tumelo Serobatse and Golebamang Chukudu (Department of Education and Sport Development, North West), were all recognised for their contributions in providing ICT-based solutions to solve service delivery challenges.
The Special Ministerial Awards are given to individuals or teams/departments who have demonstrated exceptional service to citizens through their innovations and who reflect the spirit and ethos of solution-focused public sector.
This year, the following two special projects were awarded:
The initiative improves access to information by setting up a mini-library specifically for the Blind and people with albinism. The mini-library provides assistive devices like computer hardware and software specifically designed for the blind and visually impaired individuals. Additional devices in libraries such as document readers and audio playback equipment, audio and braille books and accessible book lending services to members on request. This has improved the lives of users and in addition, the project has afforded librarians an opportunity to learn new skills created by this additional service
- The second recipient is RK Khan Hospital
The project seeks to address the challenge of long waiting times for patients needing hearing assessment and hearing aids. The RK Khan Hospital has a very large catchment area that it services. With only two Audiologists and only one audiometer, the waiting times for patients seeking assistance including high risk babies was extremely long. This prompted the Dr Anne-Marie Fayers to seek help elsewhere, by sourcing assistance from existing staff members within the province who were underutilised by asking them to volunteer to render this scarce service. Community Service Therapists mentor the volunteers. Private companies were also approached to sponsor hearing aids to benefit patients that are need. This programme has seen the drastic reduction of patient waiting times from about three years to now between 8-10 months.
The Public Sector Innovation Awards Ceremony is a platform used to recognise and award all the exceptional innovative projects entered for this year’s edition of the awards programme. The CPSI acknowledged and thanked the 2018 partners for the Awards Programme and the partners are GovChat, Ekasi Solutions, Blackberry and GEMS honour this years’ winners.
All the winning projects walked away with R20 000, which will be used to expand or advance their projects, and the innovator of the year project walked away with R60 000.
Deputy Minister Pilane-Majake was impressed by the number of youth the coders who were part of the awards finalists. She said the Awards programme has redirected our focus onto the youth as a rich source of progressive and untethered passion for new ideas. This is very encouraging, it also signals government’s intention to intensify its effort to attract youth into the public service. This underlies the need to transform the public sector through the creation of a working environment that is more conducive and ideal for the youth with their enquiring minds and their insatiable curiosity and untethered passion to try new and better ideas.
2018 Finalists and Winners:
Innovative Solutions Saving Government Money
Winner: eLTSM System, North West
1st Runner Up: Wendy House Project, Northern Cape
2nd Runner Up: Pharmaceutical Ward Stockholding, KwaZulu-Natal
3rd Runner Up: Giyani Carpentry & Painting Team, Limpopo.
Innovative use of ICTs for Effective Service Delivery
Winner: Integrated Intelligence Hub
1st Runner Up: Electronic Intensive Care Project, KwaZulu-Natal
2nd Runner Up: Purchase Card Project, Gauteng
3rd Runner Up: ICT in Education, Gauteng
Innovative Service Delivery Institutions
Winner: Standing Box Project, Gauteng
1st Runner Up: Skilled Hands : Desk Repair Project, KwaZulu-Natal
2nd Runner Up: Fortune 40 Young Farmers Programme, Mpumalanga
3rd Runner Up: MND Multlidisciplinary Clinic, Gauteng
Innovative Enhancements of Internal Systems of Government
Winner: Accessible Salary Advice for Visually Impaired, North West
1st Runner Up: GIS & Geoportal Project, Gauteng
2nd Runner Up: Electronic Invoicing Project, Gauteng
3rd Runner Up: BAS Automation Tool, Gauteng
Innovator of the Year: Standing Box Project, Gauteng